17 December 2009

Just Do It

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-Oscar Wilde

All it takes to be yourself, original, is to let yourself think. Lately I've recognized a bit of a problem in myself--that I don't have the confidence to trust my own thoughts. I think I have a relatively healthy ego, at least at face value. I have no problem saying that I know I am pretty, I know I'm intelligent, I know I am creative (though I admit it's cringy to say/write as much to other people for fear of not sounding humble). But at a deeper level I think I have less confidence. I wait for direction from other people, rather than relying on myself. It's almost impossible for me to make a decision, even about something as simple as what to have for dinner. Most people procrastinate, but I've realized that what I put off is not work but making decisions.

I'm not writing this to put myself down; I'm writing it to bring myself up. Finding and admitting a problem is the hardest part, and now that I've done that I can work on fixing it. And my plan, which I think will be my New Year's resolution, is this: JUST DO IT. If I have an idea, I'll go with it. If I have a decision to make, I'll just make it. Every decision is not as big as it seems.

This is a lesson that everyone can and should learn. I highly recommend the book WHATEVER YOU THINK, THINK THE OPPOSITE by Paul Arden. Jonty gave it to me this summer, and I've only just gotten around to reading it. But I plan to read it over and over, as it's both funny and inspiring.


07 December 2009

My Weekend in Pictures

Bristol riverfront.

Homemade snickerdoodles (my favorite cookies!). They didn't last long!

Witney's new shopping centre.

Costa coffee latte--gone.

My early Christmas present.


06 December 2009

The Short of It

...is that I can't slim down a story.

When I'm chatting with friends and I try to tell a story, whether it be funny, anecdotal, or relatively important, I end up saying much more than necessary. The funny story is ruined, the anecdote is lost, and the important seems trivial, unless I have access to a delete key.

And it's not just me. My little sister is the same way. We always joke about it, but it's only funny because it's true. Sometimes our friends try to convince us otherwise. "No, no. You're a good storyteller." But the reality is that we just plain suck.

I'm finding this becoming even more of a problem lately. My MA program involves a lot of presenting papers in a short amount of time. I can explain pretty thoroughly the intricacies of the papers I'm presenting, but I just can't seem to give a short, general account of the argument.

But this makes me wonder why my mind works this way! Is it genetic? Is it the way I was brought up? Is it the influence of the computer generation? Is it because I'm right-handed? I find it all very interesting...


04 December 2009

Last Autumn Song

Autumn is quickly fading into winter. We only have a couple of weeks left. Now that I've given my supervisor a draft of one of my essays, I'm finally allowing myself to accept that winter and Christmas are in the air. As a final farewell to fall, here is a lovely song comparing the relationships in nature (which is now going into hiding) to love. It's from the Juno soundtrack, which I adore. I absolutely LOVE these lyrics :.)

If I was a flower growing wild and free
All I'd want is you to be my sweet honey bee.
And if I was a tree growing tall and green,
All I'd want is you to shade me and be my leaves. (x2)

All I want is you, will you be my bride?
Take me by the hand and stand by my side.
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were a river in the mountains tall,
The rumble of your water would be my call.
If you were the winter, I know I'd be the snow,
Just as long as you were with me, when the cold winds blow.

All I want is you, will you be my bride?
Take me by the hand and stand by my side.
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were a wink, I'd be a nod.
If you were a seed, well I'd be a pod.
If you were the floor, I'd wanna be the rug.
And if you were a kiss, I know I'd be a hug.

All I want is you, will you be my bride?
Take me by the hand and stand by my side.
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were the wood, I'd be the fire.
If you were the love, I'd be the desire.
If you were a castle, I'd be your moat,
And if you were an ocean, I'd learn to float.

All I want is you, will you be my bride?
Take me by the hand and stand by my side.
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.


03 December 2009


[image copyright Disney Enterprises]

In March, Disney will be releasing Time Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland. This film will put a new twist on the classic tale, just as it did with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Wonderland will be much more surreal, more dangerous, yet more mystical. I think this is a great vision for the story. Alice in Wonderland is very much about a girl who is in a crazy, confusing, and threatening world. I have to admit, though, as a child I was quite frightened even of the Disney classic animated movie, so I do worry that Burton's film will be a bit too far on the scary end of the spectrum. But the images I've seen so far will drive me to the cinema anyway--they're very creative and beautiful, if not a bit too dark. I really can't wait to see what this will be like.

Click here to see more photos and here to see the trailer.


01 December 2009

What I've Been Doing, Part II (Grad School)

Today on What I've Been Doing I have a few photos of the Graduate School building. I spend quite a lot of time here, as it has a common room, complete with kitchen and coffee maker, as well as study rooms and a computer room with a printer (and I don't have a printer at home).

This is the building itself. The houses on this street used to be private residences but have since been renovated and connected to become the home to the Faculty of the Arts & Humanities departments.

The Grad School Common Room. I meet friends in here for breakfast some days (to get us out of the house at a decent time), and it's also good for socializing and for taking study breaks. See the television in there? I'm convinced that one night we'll take it over (since we have 24 hour access) and watch movies in here.

The kitchen. Thank goodness for this, since it's the only way I can eat proper food during the day (along with the microwave in the kitchen downstairs). It's pretty cozy.

When the sun is shining (a treat in Bristol), we get natural light through these windows.

I've been working really hard on academic matter lately. I've just submitted a rough draft of my essay on the philosophy of education to my supervisor, and I'll soon be starting my paper on naturalism. While I am hard at it, I am really enjoying it. Philosophy can be so exhilarating. It can also be extremely frustrating, I might add. But it will be weird to step away from this building and the comrades I've gotten to know when I leave for home in less than two weeks for a month-long break.